A few years ago I became hooked on my television’s closed captioning.
I don’t know why I even started using it. My ears are just fine.
My grandfather had some hearing loss, most likely due to years working in a machine shop, and his tv’s volume was always as loud as it could go. Maybe I became overly sensitive to the high volume and just figured it could be lower with the captioning turned on.
No matter why, I’ve become used to it and actually miss the captions when I go to a movie now. I spend the first five minutes thinking “I wish they had closed captioning” and “why is so loud?”
(Have you ever noticed how loud movies are? During the last one I went to see, I could hear Prometheus from theater next door. Is that really necessary?)
Not only does it allow for lower volume tv watching, but closed captioning also makes me feel a bit less guilty about watching television. “See, I’m not only watching tv but I’m reading too. It’s literary.”
Plus is fun to watch for typos or when the actor goes off script and the captions are different.
The only time I don’t like the captions is during live sporting events, and my “sporting” of course I mean tennis.
The captioners seem to have a hard time keeping up. And they can’t spell all those names that end in “ova” and “ski.”
My biggest pet peeve about closed captions, however, is the censorship.
One of the powers that be (The FCC? The morality police?) decided that swearing is ok on tv, but only if it’s spoken aloud, not written out.
So if a character says, “Don’t give me that shit,” the closed captioning reads, “Don’t give me that sh–.”
If the character is taking the Lord’s name in vain, the caption people don’t even type part of the word. “Oh my God” turns into “Oh my.”
Isn’t this some kind of discrimination? Do “they” think that deaf and hearing impaired people are more delicate? Unable to handle reading swear words?
What’s next? Redacting the curse words out of Braille books?